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U.S. Mail Delays Slow Delivery of Medicines

August 20, 2020



To many people who rely on the mail to deliver their prescriptions, the latest political skirmishing over the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t really matter. They’ve been dealing with delays for weeks, and while some are not urgent, others are more worrisome.

Dr. Toula Milios Guilfoyle, a retired physician in Jefferson, N.H., is among those who say their mail-order prescriptions have become dangerously late. Dr. Guilfoyle, who is 62 and disabled, needs antibiotics for a chronic infection. While her prescriptions from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center usually arrive a few days after they are sent, last month she had to wait two weeks to receive them, and subsequent prescriptions have also been delayed.


Without the antibiotics she needed, her infection spread. “I got worse and worse,” she said.

She initially thought the first delay was “a fluke,” but her prescriptions have been late two more times. “Everything has slowed down,” Dr. Guilfoyle said. She worries that the reports of the removal of mailboxes and postal equipment that have already taken place will continue to make the delivery of mail sluggish.


Most of the criticism over the cost-cutting actions taken by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major donor to President Trump, has focused on whether the measures could jeopardize mail-in voting for the upcoming election. But there is increasing recognition of the effect the cutbacks would have on consumers who receive their medicines via the mail.


Nearly one in five Americans said they received medications through the mail last week, according to an Axios-Ipsos poll released Aug. 18. Of those, a quarter said they experienced some delay or lack of delivery. Continue Reading